The Science Teacher

The monthly magazine of the National Science Teachers Association. Articles cover innovations in science and science teaching methods.

Articles from Vol. 79, No. 6, September

Adding Inquiry to Cookbook Labs
Our biology team has attempted a new approach to add inquiry to two common biology labs: Environmental Effects on Catalase Reactions and Determining the Sucrose Concentration in a Potato. This new approach follows a generic sequence of teacher demonstration...
A Virtual Tour of Plate Tectonics: Using Google Earth for Inquiry Investigations
Google Earth is an exciting way to engage students in scientific inquiry--the foundation of science education standards and reforms. The National Science Education Standards identify inquiry as an active process that incorporates questioning, gathering...
A Virtual Tour of Plato Tectonics: Using Google Earth for Inquiry Investigations
Google Earth is an exciting way to engage students in scientific inquiry--the foundation of science education standards and reforms. The National Science Education Standards identify inquiry as an active process that incorporates questioning, gathering...
Back-to-School: Dress for Success
When I was a student, back-to-school shopping was always exciting. It signaled the beginning of another school year but also meant something more. Choosing that new binder and first-day outfit was a chance to reinvent myself and make a great first...
Boardworks High School Biology
This is a complete set of interactive PowerPoint Slides for High School Biology that is geared toward specific state standards. You may select the standards from any of the 50 states. The lessons are divided into nearly 100 manageable "chunks" of from...
Boardworks High School Biology
This is a complete set of interactive PowerPoint Slides for High School Biology that is geared toward specific state standards. You may select the standards from any of the 50 states. The lessons are divided into nearly 100 manageable "chunks" of from...
Call for Papers
The Science Teacher (TST) is seeking manuscripts that describe new and creative ideas for the secondary science classroom. Manuscripts should provide worthwhile ideas and practical help for teachers as they relate to the themes listed below. TST also...
Career of the Month
Work overview. At LinkedIn, I get to tackle challenges in my favorite areas of computer science--search, information extraction, matching, recommendation, social network analysis, and network visualization--while connecting talent to opportunity...
Chemical Spills: Absorbing Safety
Spills happen! Acid spills, flammable liquid spills, and toxic spills take place in high school science laboratories. Science teachers, when appropriately trained, should be qualified to clean up those spills considered "incidental." OSHA defines an...
Editor's Corner
New Standards As most readers know, on July 19, 2011, the National Research Council (NRC) released the much-anticipated A Framework for K--12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (NRC 2011), a document that continues...
Eight Ways to Do Inquiry: A Study of over 300 Inquiry Activities Recommends Eight Models for the Classroom
Creating inquiry activities is inherently difficult (Meyer et al. 2011; Meyer and Avery 2010). Asking meaningful questions requires both background knowledge on the part of the students and complexity on the part of the phenomena. Yet numerous strategies...
Eight Ways to Do Inquiry: A Study of over 300 Inquiry Activities Recommends Eight Models for the Classroom
Creating inquiry activities is inherently difficult (Meyer et al. 2011; Meyer and Avery 2010). Asking meaningful questions requires both background knowledge on the part of the students and complexity on the part of the phenomena. Yet numerous strategies...
Engineers Develop Intelligent "Copilot" for Cars
A driver remotely steers a modified vehicle around barrels and cones in an open field until a researcher tells him to steer the vehicle into a barrel. But instead of crashing, the vehicle steers itself around the obstacle, giving control back to the...
Fight Obesity in the Classroom
U.S. health experts declared obesity an epidemic over a decade ago. Schools have tried to implement prevention programs for students, but as budgets shrink, educating students about obesity is increasingly falling to classroom instructors, including...
Fracking for Natural Gas
September 2012, Making Your Teaching More Environmentally Friendly Having taught Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science for 11 years, I'm always interested to see which topics the free-response questions (FRQs) of the AP Environmental Science...
Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Health Effects
Radiation from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster may eventually cause anywhere from 15 to 1,300 deaths and from 24 to 2,500 cases of cancer, mostly in Japan, Stanford re-searchers have calculated. The estimates contradict previous claims that...
Headline Science
Mummy Sheds Light on Hepatitis Migration A mummified Korean child with relatively well-preserved organs may help researchers study the evolution of chronic hepatitis B. It also may shed light on the migratory pathway of the virus from China and...
Health Wise
Fight Obesity in the Classroom U.S. health experts declared obesity an epidemic over a decade ago. Schools have tried to implement prevention programs for students, but as budgets shrink, educating students about obesity is increasingly falling...
High-Status Baboons Heal Faster
It helps to be top dog, or in this case, top baboon. Male baboons that rank high within their society recover more quickly from injuries and are less likely to become ill than other males, according to a study by University of Notre Dame biologist...
Idea Bank
Adding Inquiry to Cookbook Labs Our biology team has attempted a new approach to add inquiry to two common biology labs: Environmental Effects on Catalase Reactions and Determining the Sucrose Concentration in a Potato. This new approach follows...
Immediate Rewards Boost Student Performance
Test performance can improve dramatically if students are offered rewards just before they take standardized tests and if they receive the rewards immediately afterward, new research at the University of Chicago shows. A series of experiments in...
Involve Parents to Raise STEM Enrollment
To get high school students to take math and science courses, involve their parents, suggests a new study published in Psychological Science. Researchers tested this hypothesis with 181 high school students and their parents in Wisconsin. The test...
New Standards
September 2012, Notes From the Field Editor As most readers know, on July 19, 2011, the National Research Council (NRC) released the much-anticipated A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (NRC 2011),...
Now You're Cooking! Heat Transfer Labs: From Basic Recipes to Full Inquiry
Whether you're cooking up dinner or an experiment, a recipe is a great way to learn about the procedure and the variables (or "ingredients") involved. Cookbooks are comforting and valuable: They're easy to follow, and you know what you'll get. The...
Now You're Cooking! Heat Transfer Labs: From Basic Recipes to Full Inquiry
Whether you're cooking up dinner or an experiment, a recipe is a great way to learn about the procedure and the variables (or "ingredients") involved. Cookbooks are comforting and valuable: They're easy to follow, and you know what you'll get. The...
Open-Ended Inquiry: Practical Ways of Implementing Inquiry in the Chemistry Classroom
"Oh, I don't know if I can do inquiry in my classroom. It's too hard, and I don't even know where to begin." How often have you heard comments like those? Maybe you've made them yourself. Inquiry has a reputation for being a great way for students...
Open-Ended Inquiry: Practical Ways of Implementing Inquiry in the Chemistry Classroom
"Oh, I don't know if I can do inquiry in my classroom. It's too hard, and I don't even know where to begin." How often have you heard comments like those? Maybe you've made them yourself. Inquiry has a reputation for being a great way for students...
Safer Science
Chemical Spills: Absorbing Safety Spills happen! Acid spills, fammable liquid spills, and toxic spills take place in high school science laboratories. Science teachers, when appropriately trained, should be qualified to clean up those spills considered...
Science 2.0
Tablets as Learning Hubs In just three years, tablet computers such as the iPad have spread faster than a supervirus in a Hollywood movie. Apps available for them number well into six figures. Now it's possible to use the tablet as a digital hub...
Seagrasses Store More Carbon Than Forests Do
Seagrass meadows can store up to twice as much carbon as the world's temperate and tropical forests, making seagrasses a vital part of the solution to climate change. So say researchers reporting in the journal Nature Geoscience. Study results demonstrate...
Strengthening Science Departments: How Teachers and Chairpersons Can Help Their Departments Support Best Practices
"Although Sam is the science department chair and has been invited to serve on a number of district committees, he is con-fronted with isolation in his department, where the three science teachers do not work as a team. As a result, he works as a 'lone...
Strengthening Science Departments: How Teachers and Chairpersons Can Help Their Departments Support Best Practices
Although Sam is the science department chair and has been invited to serve on a number of district committees, he is confronted with isolation in his department, where the three science teachers do not work as a team. As a result, he works as a 'lone...
Tablets as Learning Hubs
In just three years, tablet computers such as the iPad have spread faster than a supervirus in a Hollywood movie. Apps available for them number well into six figures. Now it's possible to use the tablet as a digital hub for learning. The following...
The Green Room
Fracking for Natural Gas Having taught Advanced Placement (AP) Environmental Science for 11 years, I'm always interested to see which topics the free-response questions (FRQs) of the AP Environmental Science exam address each May. The 2012 exam...
The New Teacher's Toolbox
Back-to-School: Dress for Success When I was a student, back-to-school shopping was always exciting. It signaled the beginning of another school year but also meant something more. Choosing that new binder and first-day outft was a chance to reinvent...
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